In his 20-minute opening remarks, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said the botched rollout of HealthCare.gov calls for legislative action to ensure the government can successfully implement large-scale technology projects.
“This is part of a pattern that occurs due to failure to adhere to the private sector’s world-class standards for IT production,” Issa said.
Ranking member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., agreed, adding that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Health and Human Services agency responsible for implementing the federal health insurance exchange,”did not deliver” on HealthCare.gov.
Still, Cummings also called Wednesday’s hearing another Republican attempt to thwart the president’s health care law. “The Republicans shut down the government for three weeks,” he said. “They threatened to default on our debts unless we repealed the Affordable Care Act. Now they are attempting to use the congressional oversight process to scare Americans from the website by making political assertions about the security of their private information.”
On Oct. 10, Issa and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., launched an investigation into the implementation of HealthCare.gov. In the weeks leading up to Wednesday’s hearing, Issa’s office released internal memos from the Obama administration revealing security concerns and other technical glitches prior to HealthCare.gov’s Oct. 1 launch.
Issa attributed those mishaps to delayed regulations and to a late start on the design and development of the Obamacare website. Those delays, he alleged, were a political move to buffer Obama from negative public opinion.
“It seems sad that you pass a law in the first few months of an administration and that regulations came to a halt so that they would not be out there during the president’s reelection,” Issa said.
Issa also told the HHS representatives present to testify at the hearing that closing the security loopholes his committee has uncovered was a priority moving forward.
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The national polls, once again, tell very different stories: Clinton leads by just one point in the IBD, Rasmussen, and LA Times tracking polls, while she shows a commanding 12 point lead in the ABC news poll and a smaller but sizable five point lead in the CNN poll. The Republican Remington Research Group released a slew of polls showing Trump up in Ohio, Nevada, and North Carolina, a tie in Florida, and Clinton leads in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Virginia. However, an independent Siena poll shows Clinton up 7 in North Carolina, while a Monmouth poll shows Trump up one in Arizona
If you need a marker for how confident Hillary Clinton is at this point of the race, here's one: CNN's Jeff Zeleny reports "she's been talking to Republican senators, old allies and new, saying that she is willing to work with them and govern."
Sources tell CNN that longtime Democratic operative Ron Klain, who has been Vice President Biden's chief of staff, is "high on the list of prospects" to be chief of staff in a Clinton White House. "John Podesta, the campaign chairman, has signaled his interest in joining the Cabinet, perhaps as Energy secretary."